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Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Eight Lipscomb student-athletes led by Brent High, Associate Athletic Director for Spiritual Formation, arrived in Honduras Saturday for an eight-day mission trip to assist with the rebuilding of buildings at an orphanage damaged by recent flooding. This is Brent's dispatch from their fourth day.
We got started at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. The ladies on staff at Mission Lazarus had a breakfast of pancakes and bacon for us. It was amazing as usual. We headed over to the refuge office to pick up the trucks for our day’s work. We were met with our third flat tire of the trip, this one on the front of the little Nissan truck I’ve been driving. The access latch to get the tire tools was broken off making it impossible to get the spare tire out from underneath the truck. We tried using tools from the other trucks but got nowhere. Finally after an hour and a half Cameron came to the rescue once again and figured out a way to gain access to the tools. We put on the spare and then headed to a new tire repairman to fix the tire.
On the way to the tire repairman we picked up about a dozen live chickens and put them in the back of one of the trucks. They were to be distributed to some of the families in need at the local church in Duyere once we made it over the mountain. These hens would be used for their egg-laying capability. T.J. McCloud delivered the chickens to several families and said it was a very moving experience.
Our tire was replaced in good time and we finally made it to Duyere about 10:30 a.m. It takes a little more than an hour one way to get from the refuge to Duyere. We travel on a winding road that actually shares a border with Nicaragua.
We took three of our guys down to the brick-making station. They made over 150 bricks today and helped mix up a significant amount of mortar that will be used later this week. The rest continued work on the adobe house. We added three layers of bricks and mortar to the structure today. The lady that will live in the home was there most of the day today with several of her nine children. We learned much more about her story today from the local preacher at the Iglesia de Cristo in Duyere. He told us that her adobe house was flooded with two feet of water this past year and all the adobe bricks crumbled.
We enjoyed continuing to build our friendships with the little guys around the house site. Ronnie, Jorge, Antonio and Wilson all helped a tremendous amount. I shared some of my Barnum’s Animal Crackers with the boys. Alexander McMeen played an intense game of tag with Ronnie that will for sure go down as conditioning for cross country. I’m not sure who was more impressive – “Big Mc” or Ronnie. They both looked like mountain goats running up and down steep hills around the home site.
Ben Wiles, a Lipscomb alum who works at a church in Kentucky sent two big envelopes of “friendship bracelets” with us to give to kids. They’re made of two colored strings of yarn that are woven together. Each one is different. We tied them on the arms of dozens of kids the last two days. They love them.
We came back to the refuge a little after 5 p.m. It seemed like quite a short day of work compared to yesterday’s marathon. We all enjoyed our meal of beef, corn and mashed potatoes. We played three games of Farkel, the dice game where the object of the game is to see who scores the fewest points. That loser has to endure a pre-determined punishment. I lost the last game and as a result had an entire pitcher of sour milk poured over my head. I can still smell it as I write this update.
There are so many things going through my head right now. I’ve always heard that mission trips leave you changed forever. It’s true for me and I’m confident it is for these guys on the trip too. It’s obvious that bonds are forming that will last a lifetime between these guys. The exciting thing for me is that all of them will be back at Lipscomb again next year. We will be counting on them heavily to help spread what they’ve learned and are experiencing this week to their teammates with the hope that we’ll have even more athletes experiencing what they’re experiencing this week.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to go on a mission trip. I have been missing out big time. Now I’m focused and more determined than ever to figure out how to get all of our athletes and coaches to places like Mission Lazarus each and every year they are with us at Lipscomb.
Thanks for your continued prayers.